Airports of Thailand has begun a study for a seaplane base adjacent to Phuket airport, with possible routes to Koh Samui, Hua Hin and Pattaya.
AoT chairman Visanu Prasarttong-Osoth said on Monday that the study should be concluded this year and he expected it would lead to the country's first seaplane terminal, which would give a considerable boost to marine tourism.
He said a seaplane base in Phuket would support services to Koh Samui, Hua Hin and Pattaya - all destinations highly popular with tourists for diving and visiting islands.
AoT president Kerati Kijmanawat said the seaplane base would be part of Phuket airport's expansion, estimated to cost about 8 billion baht. The seaplane terminal would not be costly. He expected tenders would be called for the construction phase next year.
The project was likely to be welcomed by airlines and tourists alike. Airline operators were already inquiring about the project, Mr Kerati said.